Ryanair has confirmed it is offering a “grace period” of an entire month on its new hand luggage policy.
On 1 November the airline officially changed its rules, requiring customers pay extra if they want to take more than one mid-size bag with them on flights.
However, the airline said yesterday it would initially be lenient while customers get used to the change; today it confirmed that this will continue until the end of the month. Ryanair told The Independent in a statement: “While our new bag policy came in to effect yesterday (1 November), we have briefed our gate agents to take a reasonable approach while customers get used to the new rules over the month of November.”
Passengers who turn up at the airport with a second bag without having paid for priority boarding or to check a bag should be subject to a €25 fee, but this is generally being waived by gate agents this month.
“We decided we were going to have a grace period and waive fees weeks ago,” Ryanair spokesman Kenny Jacobs said on RTE’s Morning Ireland, adding that this would last until the end of November.
Ryanair announced the changes in August, which require passengers to pay £6 to £8 for priority boarding if they want to take a bag of up to 10kg and measuring no more than 55x40x20cm into the cabin, or £8 to £10 to check a 10kg case into the hold.
Priority boarding is capped at 95 people per flight – around half of passengers.
The airline has said the new rules will affect only 40 per cent of customers, as 30 per cent already buy priority boarding and 30 per cent take just one small bag onboard.
The move is allegedly to improve timekeeping. “Punctuality has been a challenge this year,” said Kenny Jacobs, the airline’s chief marketing officer.
“We’ve flagged for a while that while we love offering two cabin bags, it was creating a problem at the boarding gates. We want to protect our punctuality.”
However, Ryanair made $2,304,748,827 (£1.8bn) in “ancillary revenue” – all extras on top of the fare – in 2017, 28.2 per cent of all its pre-tax revenue. That number is likely to get even more of a boost with the new policy.
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